Mumbai, April 18: England’s Jos Buttler (103) reached his second IPL 2022 century while skipper Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer made vital cameos in helping Rajasthan Royals to a massive 217/5 in 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders at Brabourne Stadium here Monday.
Buttler, opening the innings, shot nine bounds and five sixes on his 61-ball 103, while Samson shot a 19-ball 38 and Hetmyer scored sixes on back-to-back balls in the last over Andre Russell as Rajasthan Royals recorded a challenging total in a wicket where pursuit is expected to be easy due to dew.
Asked by Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer to bat first, Buttler shared vital partnerships of 97, for the opening wicket with Devdutt Padikkal, and 67 for second with skipper Sanju Samson, who played an excellent 38 cameo. from 19 balls, to put Rajasthan Royals on course for a grand total.
This was Buttler’s second century in this IPL after he scored 100 on 68 balls against the Mumbai Indians on April 2. He joined an elite list of batsmen that includes the likes of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Shane Watson and Shikhar Dhawan to score two centuries in an IPL edition. Virat Kohli holds the record for scoring four centuries in the 2010 edition of the tournament.
Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal gave the Royals a fun 97-run start in a short time as they went about their business with a purpose. Buttler was in his element when he scored 16 runs in the third downed by Umesh Yadav, hitting a four fly up the middle and a gargantuan six across the wide.
Buttler kept the scoreboard moving with excellent batting, getting 15 runs out of Varun Chakaravarthy’s first over and completing his half-century in 29 balls, hitting five fours and three sixes.
Padikkal (24), who played the perfect foil for his partner, was the first out, brought down by Sunil Narine when he entered early and missed completely.
Skipper Sanju Samson took over the task of scoring quick runs and added 67 runs for the second wicket with Buttler. Samson was the aggressor in society when Buttler took the backseat, allowing his employer to free his hands.
Samson hit three fours and two sixes during his brief tenure as he helped the Royals maintain a good scoring rate. The 27-year-old batsman from Kerala was trying to land a slower shot from Andre Russell, the skier Shivam Mavi charged into deep midwicket. But he had already done his job, scoring with a strike rate of nearly 200, helping Rajasthan cross 150 in the 15th.
Buttler soon completed his century with a six from Pat Cummins, but was soon out. But Cummins had the last laugh when he sent him packing with a well-aimed keeper that Buttler tried to hit, but he managed to find Varun Chakravarthy at the thin-legged fence.
Riyan Parag, another big hitter in the Royals’ ranks, fell to some clever work by Cummins, who caught the ball near the far limit but tossed it to Shivam Mavi when he tripped over the rope.
In the end, it was left to Hetmyer to take Rajasthan Royals past the 210-run mark. He blew up fellow West Indies Andre Russell with 18 runs in the final over, hitting six in succession. Although Russell came back well to shoot two point balls, Hetmyer hit him for a limit on the final delivery of the 20 to help Rajasthan Royals establish Kolkata Knight Riders on a mountain to climb.
Sunil Narine was the only bowler to impress the batsmen as he finished his four overs at 2/21, while Australia Test captain Cummins was beaten at 1/50 of four overs.
Short scores: Rajasthan Royals 217/5 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 103, Sanju Samson 38; Shimron Hetmyer 26 no outs; Sunil Narine 2/21) vs. Kolkata Knight Riders.